Pleasure Before Pain

By: Ethan Rampersaud

Photo Credit: Creative Commons 

Time. It is an important commodity, maybe even the most important. It is the true nonrenewable resource; coal and fossil fuels can return to the earth in millions of years, but time goes by, and no matter where we go, we always spend it, and time spent, whether wasted or used wisely, is time lost. It seems in today’s world, people prefer to waste this most precious resource on personal leisure rather than apply it to changing the world.

Humans have a natural tendency to enjoy entertainment and laziness. That desire gave birth to sports, the arena of Roman times, cricket, baseball, American and non-American football. While sports back then was enjoyed by local citizens, sports today have grown to the international level. Major leagues of many sports have been formed. Players enter teams based on contracts with the bigger dollar sign. People now enjoy sitting on the sofa, with food and drinks as if it were a holiday, watching their favorite players score a touchdown, a home run, a goal. When they could be helping their community through volunteering, spending time with their family, or giving charity, they sit, watching a screen of a sports game miles away.

With the introduction of video games, phones and social media, more of our time is being wasted. People are more invested in playing, talking and texting than doing something beneficial to help themselves or their society. I see it in Pasco High School all the time: students (and I’m not calling out any names) take deep dedication into their ultramodern electronic devices rather than looking at the traditional paper textbooks in front of them.

I do not propose completely abolishing these ideas. On the contrary, I approve of today’s modern entertainment. People need to appreciate entertainment and should enjoy themselves in the process. But when these things get in the way of progress and productivity, they need to be restricted. Even I too have this problem. I would rather waste time on playing than doing productive and beneficial work.

Entertainment is not the source of us wasting time. Rather, it is us as humans, seeking an entertaining solution to the mundane everyday living. But just because it is a behavior does not mean that we sit back and accept it. We have to resist the constant need of seeking enjoyment, and will sometimes have to accept and perform the duties and tasks life has set out for us, no matter how dull or redundant. We can entertain ourselves occasionally, but we cannot let entertainment be the primary goal of life. President Theodore Roosevelt himself would agree with me, as he once said,“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”


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